Wednesday, November 7, 2012
My hip hurts. It has hurt for months and months. It isn't cancer. It bothers me immensely, and this is the story of why:
In 2004 I developed this same hip pain. It was diagnosed as bursitis, but I don't know if that's what it really was. I was a new Christian and prayed about it, fully expecting an instant removal of the pain. That didn't happen. The pain worsened and after a few months I was worried. I was thinking I might become crippled and whatever else healthy people like myself worry about. I went to visit my mom in Michigan and went to church, not expecting anything special. Suddenly, the preacher announced that God was going to heal someone's right hip and asked who that was. I was about to raise my hand, but the person directly in front of me did instead. Not only was it weird, but what are the chances that out of hundreds of people, the person in front of me was the only other one with pain in his right hip? Anyway, that guy got the prayer and joy of the moment, but I still got the healing. From the second I stood up, my hip never hurt again.
Until now. After eight years, the pain is back. It started hurting out of nowhere, right after I was healed. I mentioned it then and Dr. Rassam had a hip x-ray done, which was clear. But the pain has remained. I think it's been at least 9 months.
This is physically manageable pain, but is mentally taxing. What does it all mean? Why did it come back right when God kicked cancer out of my body? Why can't I get rid of it now? It makes me doubt--people who are healed usually deal with fears of it returning, and this seems like the devil reminding me that cancer could come back like my hip pain. On bad days every step I take I feel this pain and push those thoughts down.
I have prayed a lot about praying about this pain, because it confuses me so much. On one hand, I feel that this could be like the thorn of Paul's. He prayed three times for God to remove it, and God didn't (2 Cor 12:7-9). God told him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". Maybe the pain in my hip is like that. Just a reminder the God is the boss and I'm nothing on my own.
Or...maybe I don't have enough faith to convince God to heal my hip. I'm so sure that it was faith that got me healed in the first place. It is my faith that has grown the most during this journey. I understand it so much better now, and value it above all else. So, it would make sense if it was my faith under attack here.
I've tried praying boldly and still have the pain. I really don't know what God wants, but I don't want to live with it. I don't want to change history from having been healed of it to having been "healed for 8 years" from it. And I don't want to look at my sick friends and tell them to believe God will heal them if I don't have the nerve to believe He will heal just this piddly little issue I have.
So, I have decided to take a leap of faith and believe this is indeed a faith issue. I am going to take this as an opportunity to increase my faith and believe He will heal me, even though I have no evidence or promises from Him. It's the same thing I had to do when He miraculously healed my cancer, but this is a much smaller ordeal. I'm skipping all the months of heartache and sorrow in between.
This time I'm going straight to believing in my healing, the way I interpret the Bible as requiring. 1) I will pray and believe He will answer. Mark 11:24, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." 2) I will speak as though it has occurred even before it has, just like Abraham (Romans 4) 3) I will tell the world what He has done (Luke 8:39).
I realize this is a little weird, because God already healed my cancer, which was the reason for this blog. But so many of us struggle with believing He will answer our prayers, no matter how huge or minor they are. And believing is a huge part. Maybe the most important. Much of me wants to just live with the pain. I've been doing it for almost a year now anyway. But I'm feeling like it would be hypocritical of me to encourage others to pray for healing while I'm not having any faith that a minor joint issue will be resolved. I don't want to be a hypocrite, and I don't want to settle. It would be like I'm doing a deal with the devil--trading cancer for hip pain. So, I will expect full healing. Even after He answered my much more important prayers about healing my cancer, this makes me nervous. I keep cringing as I'm typing, thinking about not posting this at all. But I will do it and document this experience.
I don't know how long it will take, or honestly if He wants to remove the pain. The status on Day 1: My hip hurts. I have prayed for healing and praised Him with thanks healing me.
Deuteronomy 32:3, "I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!